Jacks fall in Fargo

Trenton Abrego, Sports Editor

FARGO – North Dakota State will be returning to Frisco, Texas for the seventh time in eight years after the Bison rolled the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 44-21 on Friday night.

Easton Stick led the way for the Bison with 169 passing yards and a touchdown. But the story of the night came from the rushing ability of Stick, who ran for 147 yards and three touchdowns on 16 attempts.  

“Easton Stick is the best player in college football,” NDSU head coach Chris Kleiman said. “Period.”

Going into the half, the Bison led 14-7. Then, the third quarter Bison offensive explosion happened.

On the first play of the third quarter, Seth Wilson took a 78-yard run to the NDSU three-yard line. After a horse collar penalty, the Bison were positioned on the one-yard line, where Bruce Anderson punched it in on the next play.

That wasn’t the only offensive score for the Bison in the quarter.

Bruce Anderson scored on both a 14-yard run to cap a 10 play, 75-yard drive that lasted five minutes, and a 41-yard rush touchdown that capped a quick three play drive.

In the third quarter alone, North Dakota State scored 21 points and rushed for 180 yards.

After the third quarter, the Bison constructed a nine minute and six second drive that ended with a field goal and pushed the Bison lead to 17 via a 32-yard field goal by Cam Pedersen.

“I think the three scores in the third quarter were really tough in an environment like this,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said.

SDSU wouldn’t answer back after the nine-minute drive, which effectively ended the game.

Offensively, the Bison ended with 608 total yards, compared to the Jackrabbits’ 357.

In his final game in a Jackrabbit uniform, Taryn Christion threw for 180 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Christion will graduate as the Jackrabbits’ career passing yard leader, touchdown passes, total offense and passing yards.

“This program has only gone up ever since I started getting recruited here, going through my four years we just went further and further until this year,” Christion said. “… I am proud to be a Jackrabbit, not ashamed with my decision at all, glad to be sitting here in a Jackrabbit uniform.”

Pierre Strong Jr. led the way for the Jackrabbits once again on the ground with 135 yards on 20 yards. Strong Jr. eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the season on 100 carries.

Christion added 47 yards on the ground with 10 carries. C.J. Wilson had one carry that went for eight yards.

South Dakota State will graduate other seniors such Makiah Slade, Jordan Brown, Brandon Snyder, Eric Kleinschmit, Tiano Pupungatoa and Dalton Cox.

North Dakota State will wait to see who will join them in Frisco, during the Eastern Washington versus Maine showdown at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15 in Cheney, Washington.